Ed McDaniel was born and raised in Morganton, NC. He began working with individuals with intellectual disabilities in 1982. He was a psychologist for the state of North Carolina until his retirement in 2016. He continues to work part time for nonprofit and state facilities. Ed has been married to his wife, Cindy, since 1993 and they have four sons. They live in Montreat where Ed enjoys trail running. He is a life-long member of the Presbyterian Church USA and is currently a deacon at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church.
Ed has Usher Syndrome Type 2A, an inherited condition that causes hearing and vision loss. He spent many hours fundraising for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. He joining Kenny Capps for a short segment of the Mountains to Sea Trail near Mount Mitchell as Kenny ran across the State of North Carolina raising awareness for Throwing Bones.